Thanks so much to everybody who left good wishes for my speedy recovery on my blog post yesterday, I was really touched by all your kind thoughts. Things are continuing to improve, so onwards and upwards!
It is frustrating – very frustrating – not to be able to do any stitching at all, but Sandy (my OH, who is a hero – you would not believe the amount of work he is doing to keep us all running smoothly this week) has set up my camera on a tripod. This means I can use it one handed, and so I took the chance to take a couple of pics and thought I would share the progress I made on the Very Bery Hoop Swap before I hurt my wrist.
I don’t know why I hit upon using a paisley pattern for my embroidery (maybe the subliminal influence of working with Liberty fabrics for 5 years, or maybe something my partner said about the colours she likes) but once the idea had crossed my mind, I started to run with it – I was sure a paisley motif would sit really well in a tiny hoop, and would also allow me to use a lovely varied colour scheme and to experiment with a few different embroidery stitches.
The design process
Because the finished embroidery will be so tiny, I did not want to draw and stitch directly onto my chosen fabric, so I decided to have a first time go with Fabri-Solvy from Sulky (I brought mine from my lovely sponsors, Cloud Craft, of course). Fabri-Solvy (the name of which my voice-text software really doesn’t like!) is a self-adhesive water soluble stabilizer that you can print on, so it is incredibly easy to transfer embroidery designs incredibly accurately to your chosen fabric. Once you have completed your stitching, apparently you just dip the finished piece in water to dissolve the stabilizer.
So, first up,working on paper, I drew a few circles the same size as the Dandelyne mini display hoop I will be using.
I sketched a paisley design in each of the circles with pencil, then inked them in, and finally scanned them into my PC, and inserted them into a Word document to print out.
The printing onto the Fabri-Solvy worked without any trouble, then I cut out my designs, peeled off the backing paper and applied the first design to my fabric (already mounted in the hoop).
I didn’t have any trouble stitching through the Fabri-Solvy plus the fabric, although my needle did get a bit sticky over time – apparently the way to fix this is to use some Thread Heaven – in the mean time I found that it was easy enough to wipe the residue off my needle.
For the stitching itself, I’ve used various different colours of stranded embroidery thread, sometimes using one strand, sometimes two, and I have used back stitch, running stitch, some chain stitch and done some couching too. Couching is one of my favourite embroidery stitches – I love the extra texture it brings, how easy it is, and how you can really change the look using different threads and different stitches to apply the couching.
So that’s where I’ve got to – can’t wait to do some more work on it, but will have to wait. What a lesson in patience this is!